Coast Guard, Texas Game Wardens join forces for duck season opener

Coast Guard and Texas Game Wardens pose for a photo after conducting boating safety inspections, verifying federal licensing requirements of charter vessel operators, and ensuring hunters followed all state hunting regulations for the duck season opener in Corpus Christi, Texas, November 8, 2020. Their combined efforts resulted in 90 hunting license checks, 10 safety boardings, and 10 citations issued for various federal and state regulatory infractions. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard and Texas Game Wardens after conducting boating safety inspections, verifying federal licensing requirements of charter vessel operators, and ensuring hunters followed all state hunting regulations for the duck season opener in Corpus Christi, Texas, November 8, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard boarding teams based in Corpus Christi and Port Aransas joined forces with Texas Game Wardens from Nueces and San Patricio counties Saturday and Sunday to ensure the safety of all hunters enjoying the area duck season opener.

The Coast Guard and Texas Game Wardens conducted boating safety inspections, verified federal licensing requirements of charter vessel operators, and ensured hunters followed all state hunting regulations. Their combined efforts resulted in 90 hunting license checks, 10 safety boardings, and 10 citations issued for various federal and state regulatory infractions.

Nationwide, both the Coast Guard and state conservation law enforcement officials continue to respond to an alarming number of distress calls from waterfowl hunters.

“Unfortunately, duck hunting isn’t widely thought of when referring to boating safety,” said Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Prado, Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi enforcement chief. “Simple safety precautions such as wearing life jackets, filing a float plan with a friend or relative, and ensuring your phones and radios are fully charged can saves lives.”

According to Coast Guard statistics, hunters nationwide are involved in an average of 35 major boating accidents per year, resulting in 14 deaths and 27 serious injuries. Eighty percent of these reported deaths occurred by drowning, and 85 percent of the victims were not wearing a personal floating device.

The Coast Guard reminds hunters of the variety of boating safety resources and tools at their disposal. Boaters can find applicable federal and state safety requirements for their vessel at http://uscgboating.org or by downloading the Coast Guard mobile app from their preferred app store. Boaters who have specific questions on regulations or best practices can ask Coast Guard experts on Facebook at http://facebook.com/groups/safeboating.

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